Thesis

Unintentional cognitions valenced images : affective biases and EEG correlates

Using a valence variation of the Reflexive Imagery Task (RIT; Allen, Wilkins, Gazzaley, & Morsella, 2013), we observed behavioral and EEG effects of positive and negative images on unintentional cognitions in individuals (n = 16;mage = 23.75; SD = 5.57; 12 female) with a risk of negativity bias (RNB; wrnb = 7) and those without risk (Control; /icontroi= 9). A significant Group X Block interaction, F(l,14) = 8.88,p = .010, q2p = .39, revealed that individuals in the Control group were more successful at suppressing unintentional cognitions of negative images (M = .71, SE = .09) compared to positive images (M = .94, SE = .15), /(14) = 3.60, p = .003. Examination of alpha power (at electrode sensor sites F3 and F4) for positive trials in which participants experienced an involuntary cognition revealed that cortical activity was higher (lower alpha power) in the left frontal cortex (M = 1.86, SE = .10) compared to the right (M = 1.96, SE = .09), F(l,14) = 6.41, p = .024, t[2p = .31. These results are in line with previous research on thought suppression and ironic processes (Wegner, 1994), cognitive theories of depression and anxiety (Clark & Beck, 2010), and the localization of emotional processing (Davidson & Henriques, 2000).

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